I read an article written by Ann Hood, in Real Simple about holding grudges and learning to forgive. In the article, Hood shares her own personal story of how she ended up in the common grudge holding mentality and how, through her own strength and humility, she learns to forgive. There wasn’t any compelling details about her personal experience that made me think, “Meh, she’s right.” It was simply that I really understood what she was saying.
Who among us, has not held a grudge? As I read on, I couldn’t help but wonder about some of the people who were once so very close to to my heart. I thought about all the wonderful moments, the things that had brought us so close together, and tried to think back on some of the reasons that we no longer exist to each other. Unfortunately, with some of these people, it was simply a lack of honest communication. Had we been honest about how we felt from the get-go, I honestly think we would still be in each others’ lives.
Then there are the people that I know I will never forget, or rather, why there is this lingering grudge. Some things I don’t think are meant for me to forgive yet. Perhaps I’m just not ready, and I am o.k. with that. There isn’t a persistent feeling of remorse, or wondering how they are. The relationships that I think could have been salvaged, I wonder, is it too late? When the years have passed, age has graced us, and so has a bit of wisdom, is it too late to go back and forgive? What should I expect if I tread this territory.
In Hood’s story, she gracefully tackles these fears and realities and has in part set herself free from the mentality of holding a grudge.
Part of me thinks there must be a better way. There must be a better way to not end up holding a grudge. When conventional conversations don’t work, is it really time to throw in the towel? I’m certainly not an expert in the field of forgiveness, let alone how not to end up there in the first place. This is one of those topics that I will battle with. Should I, or shouldn’t I?
So, I lied. When I said that I resolved not to in one of my earlier posts, I left out this area. I resolve to TRY and not hold any grudges in the new year, whether something incredibly stupid, like when nobody refills the toilet paper, or something more hurtful, like hurtful rumors. I will also resolve to TRY and mend relationships that are haunted by grudges (not all of you grudges out there, I’m not ready for that). Let’s not get too carried away.
Happy New Year to you Fellow Grudge Holders and to you, Seasoned Forgivers.